Humans need hugs.
When we’re developing as children, hugs are super important. They teach us how to care, soothe and communicate. And even though the developmental importance of touch lessens as we grow older, we can still reap many benefits from it.
It’s National Hugging Day, and some of us are experiencing a prolonged lack of touch. Handshakes spread disease, let alone a friendly embrace. Plus, about 10% of Americans in quarantine live alone and are in some serious need of human touch. And even more of us are afraid to come in physical contact with our families and those who are immunosuppressed.
Studies have shown that people of high-touch cultures like the French are more likely to be non-violent, vs. a low-touch culture like Americans for example. It may seem unimportant, but even a high five or fist bump is proven to calm nerves, create friendship bonds and release serotonin.
For Your Body
A 2014 study shows that hugging can reduce the chance of you getting sick. Though the benefits do not apply to today’s current health crisis, in general, it would strengthen your immunity. Those who have frequent hugs and do get sick tend to have less symptoms than those lacing a good old hug. Hugging is also great for your heart health, as hugs are proven to lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Give a hug, receive a hug. Your body will thank you.
For Your Mind
A little embrace is good for the mind. Nowadays, anxiety about quarantine, depression from lack of social activity, and the common stress of working from home or not even working at all, are at an all time high.
Hugging someone who is experiencing any of the above reduces their stress levels as their brain produces soothing chemicals (aka oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone”) which give them a sense of comfort. If you’re lucky enough to have someone quarantining with you, a hug or two a day can keep all those toxic feelings at bay.
Let’s (Virtually) Hug
We’re getting our hug quotas up in a socially safe way this year by sending virtual hugs to our family, friends and communities! Who will you hug today? Use our virtual hug template on @Shapermint now!